Author Archives: Steven Martinez

Top 5 Best Paint Protection Films for Your Car This Year

One important but often overlooked vehicle maintenance products is paint protection film.

This paint protection Adelaide actually bonds with the paint’s molecular properties and thus, creates a durable protective coating that has been proven to prevent harsh elements and pollutants from entering into the paint’s micropores that begins damaging/oxidizing the paint properties causing it to look dull, oxidized and worn off.

Clear paint protection films can be applied to areas of your car’s body where the paint may become scratched or nicked. Some vehicle owners will apply the film to the front of their vehicle to protect the paint from stone chips, sticky bug grime, and other debris. It can also be applied elsewhere on the car where the paint may become damaged, such as behind door handles or on the rocker panels.

You can choose to have paint protection film professionally installed or you can do it yourself. If you want to install paint protection film yourself, you’ll probably want to buy the product online as it’s cheaper than in a store and you’ll have a greater selection to choose from. In this post, we’re going to show you our preferred paint protection films, explain what’s good about them (or what may not be so good) and answer any questions you may have in regards to purchasing or installing such products.

1. Editor’s Pick: 3M Scotchgard

3m scotchgard clear paint protection film

We like 3M’s Scotchgard as it is a very long-lasting clear paint protection film. The 3M company is also a global leader in films, adhesive products, and laminates. The company’s paint protection film is a clear polyurethane film that is 8 mils (0.0008″) thick with adhesive backing.

This very thin, transparent film can be applied to the front of your vehicle, acting as a clear “bra” to shield your car from debris. Users say it’s long lasting, extremely sticky and relatively easy to apply—although working with vinyl film can be tricky if you’ve never done it before.

We’d suggest buying more of this film than you think you’ll need. That way you will have some leftover if you make a mistake and you will also have addition film if you ever want to reapply it to your vehicle.

While this product is very thin and thus hard to see once applied, some users say it is too thin. We’d suggest it to those who wish to protect their vehicle’s paint but want the protective film to go unnoticed.

2. XPEL Clear Paint Protection Film

xpel surface protection film

XPEL is a well-known purveyor of automotive paint protection products and we’d comfortably suggest its paint protection film to any vehicle owner. Like 3M’s Scotchgard paint protection film, XPEL’s product is a clear polyurethane film that is 8 mils thick. It’s available in three different sizes: 6″ by 25″, 6″ by 60″, and 6″ by 84″.

This film is nearly invisible when applied and goes on even clearer than 3M’s Scotchgard film. It’s not as protective as the 3M Scotchgard, however, and is a bit pricier.

XPEL also makes a very high-quality door sill clear film guard for protecting your door sills and rocker panels from scratches, swirls or damage.

3. SunTek Top Coated Paint Protection Film

suntek top coated paint protection film

SunTek’s paint protection film is typically only sold in large quantities (it’s typically used by professionals, hence the bulk unit sizes) but that makes it good for covering the entire front end of your car or truck, including the hood. It also means you’ll have lots left over if you want to cover other parts of your vehicle, apply it to another vehicle or have some spare film for later. The film also has a lot of household uses.

SunTek’s film is a “self-healing” polyurethane film that is 8 mils thick. If scratches or swirls appear in the film, just pour hot water over it and they’ll disappear. SunTek also sells matte film in addition to the usual gloss film, so it can be used on matte paint jobs. It’s also backed by a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.  Compared to 3M film, SunTek’s goes on clearer, although the adhesive is not as sticky and 3M film is also not “self healing.”

4. Karlor Vinyl Wrap Film

Karlor’s vinyl wrap film is the least expensive product on this list.

It doesn’t have the same quality as 3M Scotchgard, for example, but will save you a little bit of money up front. The manufacturer says this product has an acrylic-based adhesive that’s not overly sticky, making it easy to reposition during installation. It predicts the film will last around 4-7 years outdoors and up to 10 years indoors. This particular product is made from PVC and is 0.17 mm thick.

While not backed by a reputable manufacturer like 3M, this film is inexpensive, will go on clear, and will protect your car from scratches and nicks.

5. VViViD Clear Paint Protection Film

vvivid vinyls clear paint protection film

This paint protection film from VViViD aims to be easy to apply—it can be stretched without having to use a heat gun and features “ultra conformable” compounds so it will contour to whatever you’re trying to apply it to. Like Karlor’s film, this product features air-release acrylic-based adhesive that can easily be repositioned, installed, and removed without the need of harmful chemicals.

This inexpensive film is also highly resistant to abrasions, light damage, and yellowing, the manufacturer says.

With a cheap entry-price and good durability, the VViViD Clear Paint Protection Film is a decent product, although we’d say it’s inferior to others from 3M, XPEL, and SunTek.

Buying a Car at Auction Here are my Tips

Some paint protection promise to keep your car away from any scratches. Many vehicle suppliers will certainly supply add ons along with the purchase of your vehicle as a method of sweetening the bargain, or simply as an up offer to enhance their margins, both of which might have their own advantages and disadvantages. However the essential inquiry is, should I get a cars and truck dealership paint security information? Well if you read around online or listen to skilled ‘detailers’ the solution is a definite no. But what if the supplier has a relationship with said skilled detailers? Well then we are speaking about something completely different. It is vital to keep in mind that paint defense, as well as even automobile cleansing as a whole, can do much a lot more damages than good when done inaccurately …

Is car dealership paint protection worth it?

Repaint protection, although commonly rather intricate in its application and product choice, is actually a basic service with very little intricacy entailed in any way. Your good brand-new car, with its dazzling paintwork, can be safeguarded via using 3rd celebration detailing products that seal the paintwork as well as prevent penetration, add an extra layer of defense between the paint and the components as well as shield against the effects of UV rays in discolouring paint pigments. It is usually a slim finishing of plastic or even ceramic, that prevents tiny abrasives leaving damage on the paintwork. The paint will usually be shielded for a minimal time, relying on the products used, yet throughout that period the vehicle can be cleaned as well as waxed, typically easier than an un-protected vehicle, and look like new each time.

So why does the net recommend declining these services from automobile dealers? Well auto dealerships offer autos. Very few are skilled or educated in the art of car detailing and also neither are their younger personnel or those entrusted with preparing an auto for both pre-sale or post sale. What this really implies is it is difficult to trust a dealership to offer the degree of care and attention needed in car describing when preparing your paint security on your new vehicle, be that used or off the manufacturing line.

Blog sites and comment sections are awash with problems as well as suggestions regarding staying clear of dealer include ons whatsoever prices, yet this does not require to be the case. If the deal is a sugar in your acquisition bargain, after that just make inquiries regarding 3rd event detailers and whether those that execute the paint security solution are totally certified. I for one would certainly be very tempted by the deal of a 3rd celebration detailer obtaining his hands on my auto cost free and also I would likely advise the cars and truck dealership solution to others knowing they had actually put in the time to make such an arrangement with other local service suppliers.

SO what concerns could be asked to evaluate the degree of solution on deal and also if it is to be avoided at all expenses:

Do car suppliers do their very own detailing?

The solution is most likely to be ‘in-house by our trained experts’, so simply ask to see the certification’s of stated specialist as well as ask to meet them to go over the service they are going to offer. This is not you being hard, it is simply to protect the financial investment you have actually simply made and we recognize vehicles depreciate enough as it is without damaged swirly paintwork.

If the response is no, then that is probably a good start to proceedings. Ask who the 3rd event is and also get any kind of information concerning them to check them out online initial or even examine them out on our Car Detailing Directory sections.

If the response over was Yes, then the list of inquiries gets a little bit longer than just the one over.

How is paint security related to my car?

The ‘sealant’ will certainly need to be used straight to the surface area paintwork and also this needs all waxes and any surface coverings to be removed before application This will certainly permit the paint defense product to bond to the paint and also last much longer. Once total, waxes as well as other therapies can be used ahead and the bodywork can be treated similar to the original paint.

Do not think about using paint defense yourself as it actually needs to be executed by a specialist, educated with the items they have actually selected to utilize. It is far simpler to create damages than it is to obtain it right. Look for the guidance of a certified automobile detailer or request a quote for car detailing through us to ensure you get the very best solution available.

These sealants are potentially hazardous to skin as well as sensitive locations and call for the proper security equipment to be used throughout application.

Waxes as well as various other products can damage the sealer down and prevent it from ever before functioning correctly, these need to be gotten rid of properly and securely previous to the service being accomplished

Anything below the sealer, ie between it and also the paintwork, will certainly exist to stay. So the paintwork requires to be properly cleaned up and also dealt with first

Scrapes and swirl marks are most likely signs of poor paint protection application and one of the numerous factors it is advised to not make use of car dealership internal services

Do I require paint security on my new auto?

Firstly it needs to be comprehended that no automobile NEEDS paint security if the proprietor is not looking to keep it in best condition or wanting to assist it keep it’s worth. It may seem evident that every person would intend to do that, however it simply isn’t true. If you are getting a little run around that has actually not been a huge investment for you, after that it actually can be cash far better spent somewhere else. It will not shield against reckless driving or vehicle parking that bit also near the vehicle next door …

For those people that actually like dealing with their autos, have the time as well as money to do so and feel they have the vehicle deserving of such therapy, then definitely take into consideration paint therapies like paint protection.

With the price of a respray being so high as well as with Paint Protection Film & Car Wrapping still rather an expensive customisation choice, looking after the paintwork from the off is commonly the very best option for having an excellent looking auto that is well looked after.

I invested a great deal on my car, I desire it shielded

As we claimed above, if you have spent huge on your car you are most likely to want to offer it the very best care and focus. We suggest doing this by taking it to an automobile detailer rather of making use of car supplier paint defense services.

Paintwork can be kept shiny and also reflective with making use of various waxes and treatments however without paint security, it is exposed that little bit a lot more and the colour will soon be influenced by UV rays. So not just are you able to protect versus small abrasions as well as UV, you have the ability to retain the colour of the paint as well as also lock in that brand-new vehicle appearance and also finish.

If you have actually purchased a brand-new car, we recommend you look to get it protected within the initial year of acquisition, but preferably obtain it done as soon as possible … simply consult the car dealership at size before dedicating to the service they may offer you.

What paint protection products do you utilize?

A simple Google search will certainly highlight who are the top paint defense brand names around and possibly who to avoid. Several specialist cars and truck detailers are approved with several of the very best brand names on the marketplace, indicating they were trained as well as analyzed in their capabilities to utilize the products. You can discover impressive products on our shop from the sort of Britemax, OCD Finish and Croftgate UK. Dealership are most likely to not have access to these items or the accreditation’s they bring with them which is a large adverse versus them as paint defense company.

If you are paying 3 figures for a service on top of the purchase of an automobile, you most likely wish to have the very best item for the task being used by the ideal individual for the work so constantly refuse the deal of cars and truck dealer paint protection.

How To Remove A Permanent Tattoo

Radio frequency skin tightening price has been on the menus of salons, medspas, and dermatologists for years. If you’re looking to fade your tattoo to make way for a cover up, tattoo removal Sydney will work directly with your artist to make sure we’re only ever lasering exactly what you need gone. Sometimes, you don’t really make a good choice when it comes to getting yourself inked. A botched relationship, bad tattoo art and wrong choices can leave you up in arms with your tattoo. offer non surgical liposuction Melbourne in a walk-in, walk-out treatment with no recovery or downtime.

The bad thing about tattoos is that it is a real pain when it comes to its removal. There are new procedures being developed every day, but all of them are either too painful, way too expensive and take eons of time. But if you really need to get it done, read on to know more on how to remove a tattoo.

Different Methods To Remove Permanent Tattoo

1. Laser it away

This is the most common and popular way to remove a permanent tattoo. Though it is one of the most effective processes, it is also painful and heavy on your pockets. The laser is pinpointed on your tattoo and over a period of a couple of sittings (depending on the size of your tattoo, the sittings may be more or less), the laser breaks down the pigments in your tattoo. These tiny bits of the pigments are disposed by the body.

2. Make-up Cover up

If you can’t make up your mind for an expensive laser removal method, you can also use makeup to cover up a botched tattoo. Till you make up your mind for a laser removal, you can camouflage it with a concealer. This is one way you can adopt if you have been thinking on how to remove permanent tattoo. These are not like normal concealers, but are made especially for tattoo cover ups. One of the best ones available in the market is the one formulated by the famous tattoo artist Kat Von D. It’s called ‘Lock-it Tattoo concealer’ and is available in most Sephora stores. This is an easy way to remove tattoo at home.

3. Wrecking Balm

This one sounds too good to be true! It’s a balm which you can use to fade away that regretful tattoo. It is a revolutionary product for those looking for a tattoo fix. Unfortunately, this takes a humongous long time. You have to be religious and diligent about it. It works, but it’s slow and expensive. It won’t be painful to your body, but certainly painful to your pocket! So, there you go, one more way on how to remove a tattoo!

4. Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is the quickest fix available and also one of the less expensive and painful ones. If you cannot go through the entire process of laser, you can have your plastic surgeon graft another layer of skin on your botched tattoo area. This one is popular with many people.

5. Salt Scrub

This method could be a savior. If you wanted to know how to remove a tattoo, then you are just at the right place.

This method involves over exfoliation. Though it is not a good thing to scrub away your skin, this is the last resort method to get rid of an eyesore on your skin. You can use the salt scrub for a long period of time to scrub the tattoo away, but you also have to be careful about not hurting your skin too much. It’s an inexpensive method, but can leave lasting damage on your skin.

6. Salt And Lemon Juice

Using salt and lemon juice is one of the ways to remove a tattoo. Instead of opting for laser tattoo removal, you can use these ingredients to remove your tattoo naturally.

To use this method, mix 100 gms of salt with lemon juice and soak a cotton ball in that solution. Now rub this soaked cotton ball on your tattoo covered skin for about 30-60 minutes till the mixture is deeply absorbed by your skin. Once done, you can wash it off using warm water.

7. Profade Tattoo Removal Cream

If you are looking for a tattoo removal cream, then you can try out the Profade tattoo removal cream which consists of three creams. It is one of the best tattoo fade cream. With a claim of removing tattoos within 3-9 months, each cream has a different purpose to serve.

The first cream is used to prepare your skin for the next two creams. The second cream begins the process of breaking the ink particles etched on your skin and the final cream is used to further enhance the process of eliminating the tattoo from your skin.

8. Saline Tattoo Removal

You can try out this method for eyebrow tattoo removal. You would have heard about permanent makeup application, right? Well, it is the same procedure but instead of injecting the pigments, a saltwater/saline solution is injected in the brow area.

The injected salt gently extracts the skin out of your skin without causing you much pain. Your skin will also remain intact. It can take up to 4-6 weeks for this procedure.

9. Honey

One of the best ingredients for how to get rid of tattoos naturally is honey. Follow the below instructions to prepare the best tattoo removal natural cream.

You will need fresh aloe vera gel, salt, sugar free yogurt and honey. Mix all the ingredients until it forms a cream like paste. Before applying the cream, make sure you thoroughly clean the tattoo covered area. Now apply the cream until it is completely absorbed by the skin so that it can remove the tattoo ink.

10. Lemon

Is tattoo removal painful? Yes, it is. That is why you need to try out this natural tattoo removal without laser method. Lemon is one of the most common ingredient found in our houses and it can be used for tattoo removal instead of of opting for some tattoo removal technology.

Start by cleaning the tattoo area with warm water, squeeze some lemon juice and rub it on the tattoo area. After rubbing the melon juice, wait until it dries up and your skin becomes hard. Once it is dry, you can rinse it off using warm water. Definitely a cost effective way to remove tattoos at home.

Luxury wedding

The Importance of Catering

Lieux is a hidden unique converted event venue hire Melbourne that is located in the backstreets of Richmond. A large part of planning an event revolves around the food you intend on having for your attendees. The process of figuring out how many people you have to prepare food for and deciding what foods to serve is difficult enough, but then having to prepare and serve the food can make things even more stressful. This is what makes caterers so important to events.

Often times, great food can help make an event even more memorable. Finding the right caterer is crucial to the success of any event, large or small.

Make Planning Simpler

Planning an event is time consuming. You’re going to have a million things to think about such as guest lists, invitations, venues, timelines, entertainment, décor and food. Food logistics are difficult to understand, especially if you have no experience doing it. Caterers will deal with this for you. Not having to cook or serve will alleviate some stress and allow you to focus on other things while they take care of this. A great caterer ensures that your event is fully stocked, and that your guests are well taken care of.

Leave it to the Professionals

Just like in anything else, experience is important. Preparing or planning food for an event should be left to the professionals. Catering is no easy task and shouldn’t be expected to be done by anyone who hasn’t done it before. Caterers with experience in the type of event you’re planning will help your event succeed. They know how to treat the food to ensure it is handled correctly and safely the entire day. Experienced caterers will cater to your theme and to your attendees. Not everyone has the same food needs or preferences which is why catering companies are great. They provide the versatility needed to adapt many plates to fit diverse wants and needs.

Presentation is Important

Your food must be stunning in a way that it not only tastes terrific but also looks terrific. Caterers can make the presentation of the meal correspond with the event theme. By having a catering company, you will be able to leave a lasting impression. With a million things going on before and during the event, it’s great to have a catering company pay attention to the small details of your food and beverage options that will make your event even more memorable.

Invest in Catering

Food can make or break any event. Save time, worry less, and make a good impression by investing in a catering company. The versatility that is offered will help your events succeed, regardless of the theme. Quality catering from an experienced company will show the attendees that you care and have amazing taste – no pun intended.

Nuclear Waste Storage and Disposal Problems

Sydney and the adjacent unincorporated area, have curbside green waste pickup using green-colored, green waste containers and it will be collected by green waste disposal team.

Here’s the bottom line on nuclear waste:

it’s incredibly toxic, incredibly dangerous, and if you’re among the 99 percent who aren’t employed by the nuclear energy industry, you don’t want it stored anywhere near your home.

Even if you work in nuclear energy you may not want it near your home, whether you feel free to admit it or not. Safety measures aside, nuclear waste makes people skittish, and that is understandable.

No one wants nuclear waste buried in their neighborhood, and that is part of the problem. But the biggest part of the problem is that such waste is produced inside nuclear energy facilities at astonishing levels—250,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel were stored onsite at nuclear power plants around the world as of the last accounting, and that number grows by the thousands of tons each and every year [1].

Why is it difficult to deal with nuclear waste safely?

The waste products produced inside nuclear reactor cores are deadly to all forms of life. When uranium is converted into energy through nuclear fission, the spent fuel rods it leaves behind are contaminated with radioactive poisons like cesium-137, iodine-131 and strontium-90, each of which emits significant quantities of ionizing radiation that can severely damage the cells of living organisms, along with their DNA (it is the latter effect that is responsible for the cancer risk associated with radiation exposure) [2].

The radiation produced by these toxic fission byproducts can easily penetrate a range of materials, and that means nuclear waste must be handled remotely and with radiation-proof shielding to prevent dangerous human exposures.

Plutonium is another byproduct of nuclear fission, and while it does not have the same penetrating qualities as cesium-137, iodine-131 and strontium-90 it is literally the deadliest substance on the face of the earth [3]. This means it, too, must be handled with extraordinary caution, and it also must be kept secure since plutonium can be used to build nuclear weapons.

Where is nuclear waste stored?

Initially, spent nuclear fuel rods removed from nuclear reactors are stored in isolated deep-water pools, which have walls made of reinforced concrete poured several feet thick, with steel liners added for extra protection.

To prevent overfilling of these pools, power plant companies will eventually transfer nuclear waste to large, heavy, stainless-steel casks entombed in concrete and stored above ground on power plant property. Spent fuel rods are both radioactive and thermally hot, and they must be left to cool off underwater for at least five years before they are moved to dry cask storage [4].

These storage methods are designed to last for no more than a few decades, until a permanent underground repository can be built and opened—assuming such a thing ever happens, which at this point seems like a dubious proposition [5].

Effects of radioactive waste in the ocean

Between 1946 and 1993, as many as 13 countries were using the oceans of the world as a dumping ground for nuclear waste [6]. Thankfully, this activity has now been outlawed by treaty, but illegal dumping is still going on in certain locations where environmental policing is lax [7].

For a long time, ocean dumping was considered relatively safe, since the seas are so vast and their powers to dilute so advanced. But wastes will inevitably accumulate in the areas where the dumping occurs, and in those areas the risk is not minimal. Microscopic plant life that colonizes every square inch of the ocean can absorb toxic radiation and pass it up through the food chain, from fish to mammals to human beings.

What is the proper way to dispose of radioactive waste?

Human beings must be protected from nuclear waste for as long as it maintains its ability to produce deadly or cancer-causing levels of ionizing radiation. This means that spent fuel rods must be kept in radiation-proof containers indefinitely, and those who handle it must be protected by shielding, special clothing and other measures designed to keep them safe from radioactive exposure. Extra care must be taken if nuclear waste is transported to offsite locations, to make sure accidents don’t happen and that any possibility of leakage or theft.

Deep underground burial in geologically stable locations is the best way to dispose of radioactive waste produced by nuclear power plants. However, constructing such repositories is expensive, time-consuming and requires political support that as of yet has not been forthcoming.

High-Level nuclear waste disposal

Because of its tremendous toxicity, which will make it lethal for tens of thousands of years or longer, high-level nuclear waste is not fit for conventional disposal. It must be stored in safe, secure locations, in durable containers that won’t crack, leak, or be vulnerable to damage from bombs, earthquakes, or high-powered weapons used in military or terrorist attacks.

While cesium-137 and strontium-90 have half-lives of 30 years, meaning they lose half of their potency in that amount of time, plutonium has a half-life of more than 24,000 years (and that might be a conservative estimate) [9].

High-level nuclear waste reserves its toxic capacity far too long to be released into the environment, which is why deep underground entombment is considered the best long-term solution for the disposal of these substances.

Low-Level nuclear waste disposal

Low-level nuclear waste refers to materials that have been contaminated as a result of secondary radioactive exposures. While they shouldn’t be handled when they’re still “hot,” they aren’t as potent or hazardous as the byproducts of nuclear energy production.

Hospitals, factories and private or government laboratories are frequent sources of low-level nuclear waste, which is also produced in some quantity by activities connected to the nuclear fuel cycle [10]. Depending on the extent of the contamination and the rate of radioactive decay, low-level nuclear waste may be stored onsite until it is safe for normal disposal in landfills, or it may be sent to special protective facilities that dispose of low-level waste underground.

Where does the United States store nuclear waste?

At the present time, high-level nuclear waste produced inside nuclear power plants in the United States is stored onsite, since there are no centralized nuclear waste repositories anywhere in the country. In fact, no country that relies on nuclear energy has constructed such facilities, and only in Finland is one even under construction [11].

Proposed nuclear waste disposal sites

After considering a number of locations, in 1987 the U.S. Congress chose Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site for a permanent underground nuclear waste repository [12].

The proposed repository would have been large enough to accept waste shipped from all of the country’s nuclear power plants, and was believed to be a safe location because it is in the middle of the Nevada desert hundred of miles from any large settlement.

But the project never got off the ground. It was derailed by state lawsuits, widespread resistance from Nevada residents and independent geological studies that suggested the Yucca Mountain site might be more prone to volcanic activities and water erosion than previously believed [13].

Bowing to public pressure, the Yucca Mountain site was abandoned by the Obama Administration, which called for the establishment of a commission to find a more appropriate location for the repository [14]. But no such commission has been formed, and many in Congress and the nuclear industry are still pushing the Yucca Mountain location as the most viable solution.

What are the Different Types of Picnic Baskets?

Historically, a picnic basket was literally a basket used to transport food and other supplies to have a meal, usually lunch, out in nature. These days most picnic baskets are more like backpacks, but their fundamental purpose — to transport food, plates, drink, and cutlery — remains the same. Relax and enjoy quality time with friends, family or corporate picnic Sydney with your colleagues in Sydney’s favourite garden.

Classic-style picnic baskets are still available from a number of producers. These baskets are usually made of wicker or a similar material. They consist of a single large storage space, usually with a handle and flaps that open at both ends on the top. These baskets are suitable for transporting food and liquid relatively short distances, but temperature control is not possible and often the food will undergo some trauma. More advanced wicker picnic baskets, such as English style hampers, have clips on the inside to hold plates, utensils, and a large picnic cloth.

Picnic totes are the other basic type of picnic basket available on the market. These serve essentially the same function as a traditional picnic basket, but more closely resemble a backpack. They come equipped with a wide array of clips and sleeves for all manner of flatware, napkins, cloths, and plates. They also usually have holsters on the side or front to hold bottles of wine or juice. The obvious advantage of a tote over a traditional basket is the greatly reduced difficulty in carrying it for long distances, as the weight is much better distributed. Additionally, totes are usually well padded to help protect the food from damage during transport.

More expensive totes include systems to help regulate the temperature of food and liquid being transported. This may involve heavy insulation on the entire tote, or different areas for hot and cold food. Many totes, even those which don’t regulate the temperature of the food, have insulation on their wine sleeves to ensure that the wine remains at its appropriate temperature.

Picnic baskets and picnic totes come in all manner of shapes, sizes and colors. Varieties are available for specific functions, such as plastic beach totes. Prices vary drastically, from US$20 for a simple traditional basket to over US$300 for a well-insulated, durable picnic tote.

A wide range of picnic accessories are also usually available wherever picnic baskets are sold. Accessories may include disposable utensils, unbreakable plates, cushioned cloths for place settings, and a variety of thermoses — including those designed especially for serving wine.

What’s my Ski Made of?

When you have your own helicopter and guide, you do heli skiing Canada or ride what you want, when you want—from epic chutes and perfectly spaced trees to stunning alpine bowls and runs of up to 4,500 vertical. Cores, edges, sidewall, topsheet. That’s just the beginning of a ski’s construction elements. What are they, and why are they important to you when you get on the snow? We’re breaking it down so you can impress your friends on the lift.

Previously, our ski design guru Olaf took you through the definitions of Camber, Rocker, Sidecut and Taper, so now you should have a basic understanding of how the shape of your ski interacts with the snow. This time, we’re discussing the anatomy (or guts) of your ski, and the role that each piece plays.

The best way to do this is to chop a ski in half, and start from the bottom, up. Don’t literally do that on your own, that’s just a waste of a good ski.


People constantly say “Well aren’t bases just P-Tex?” They’re wrong, but think of P-Tex as a brand name, kind of like  ChapStick – except in this case it isn’t some glorious lip moisturizer, it’s actually a brand name of Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE). This is a very durable plastic product that has micro-pores that open to accept wax, and contract to hold it there. It’s great because it performs well at a variety of temperatures, and is very easy to bond to when producing the skis. The biggest conversation we hear everyone talk about is extruded vs. sintered, and a common misconception is that they are a different material. Nope! This designation refers to how the UHMW-PE is made in to sheets. The first method, extruded, is much like pasta where a large amount of viscous material is pushed through an opening to make a sheet. Sintered material combines the PE on a molecular level at a temperature and pressure just short of melting, so that the material never actually becomes viscous. For both methods of production there are different molecular weight finished products, the general rule of thumb is the higher weight the less porous and faster the base.


I will start off with a broad statement that may come as a shock to most of you, but all edges are created equal. Believe it or not, but there are only two widely used ski and snowboard edge producers in the world. What we do have control of, however, are how our edge teeth are configured and the Rockwell hardness of the steel (and in some cases further heat treatment of the edges). Edge teeth refers to the portion of the ski edge which you can’t see, because it’s embedded in to the ski. This is what holds your edge tight between your base and your core (along with rubber which we’ll discuss later). In almost all cases that I’ve found, the thickness of this section is 0.7mm thick, but what we do have control over is the configuration of the teeth. Here, at Armada, we use a solid rail with perforations, rather than what you might typically see as a “T” type tooth. We do this so that in the event your edge cracks, there is a greater chance of the edge staying in tact rather than being ripped out. Then the basic dimensions you have are the height, width, and step.  The height refers to the overall height of the edge, the step refers to the height of the edge where the base will occupy, and the width refers to the measurement of the edge that contacts the snow.

The hardness of the steel is also a measurable characteristic, and most edges you see are going to be Rockwell Hardness 48 on the C scale. This hardness is determined by a standardized test in which a machine indents the steel, and they are broken down in to 7 categories (A-G).  Some companies use softer metal on their park skis to promote deformation rather than cracking.


The rubber in your skis serves two purposes: the first is to create a bonding (or shear) layer in between two materials that either don’t like to bond, or undergo lots of different stresses. The first, and most important place for this is above your edges and underneath the first composite layer. Without this layer, all of the chattering and vibration that your edges see when they interact with the snow would likely cause the bond between the edge and the composite to break, tearing out your edge. You will also see rubber placed in the binding mounting area, to promote further bonding between the topsheet and top layer of composite. The second function of the rubber is for vibration dampening, which as you can guess from the description above, goes hand in hand with its “shear layer” characteristics.


We’ve arrived at the first of two of our composites layers, probably the easiest layer to modify and the hardest to understand. Your composites layers are comprised of fabrics (like fiberglass, carbon, aramid, Kevlar, etc.) with all of their pores and voids being saturated (and constrained) by epoxy. Composite fibers are most generally placed in one of 4 directions: 0° (parallel to the ski length), 90° (perpendicular to the ski length), and + or – 45° (though getting weaves at different angles is becoming easier and easier). 0° fibers give strength to the ski in the way that most people would think, longitudinally (think of the first way you always test a skis flex). 0° fibers help the most in wider skis in keeping the whole ski flat. With a lack of fibers in this direction, it’s likely that the ski can cup during production because of the heat changes and internal strain during the epoxy curing stage. + and – 45° fibers can be very useful, as they can aid in longitudinal stiffness, flatness, and torsional strength, as they have a portion of their strength going on both directions, parallel to the length of the ski, and perpendicular.

It should be noted that these composites layer would have no purpose if it wasn’t for the epoxy system used during the layup of the ski. The epoxy consists of a resin and a hardener which are mixed together just prior to layup and used to “glue” all of the layers together. All of the voids in the fiberglass must be filled to constrain the fibers after the epoxy hardens, and this constraint gives them their strength.


There are three main functions of your ski’s core: the first is to act as a spacer between the composites layers of the ski. The further apart these two composite layers are (or thicker the ski), the more effect they are going to have on the flex, and stiffer the ski will be. The second function of the core is to provide dampening, denser materials (hardwoods) will provide more dampening between the composites than a softwood or a foam. The third function is binding retention, which is why you will often see hardwoods under foot where the screws will be placed for your bindings. This is generally why cores are a mix of heavy and light woods, with the heavy, dense woods underfoot (ash, maple, oak, etc.), or at the center of the ski, and the light woods (poplar, aspen, paulownia, etc.) everywhere else to keep the mass down.


Sidewalls provide a number of functions, the most important two being waterproofing the ski, and second being providing impact durability. It’s argued that a full length sidewall ski provides better edge pressure in a turn over a cap ski, but in reality the amount of material over the edge is very similar, and probably not even a measurable factor for the average skier. In fact, sidewalls being what we might call a “dumb” material (meaning that it provides no flexural integrity to the ski, and really only weight), limiting the amount of sidewall in the ski is the biggest goal. One if its positive factors, waterproofing the ski, comes in to play because if the core simply extended through, it would be exposed to the elements. With sidewalls in its place, you have essentially encapsulated the entire core (which is susceptible to water damage) in an envelope of plastic, or non-permeable materials. The second is impact protection, as both fiberglass and your core aren’t very good with impacts, placing a sidewall material like UHMW-PE or ABS and absorb some of the impact, and possible give a more durable product. The alternative to sidewalls is a cap construction, in which the topsheet and fiberglass wrap around the edge of the core and terminate at the edge, still encapsulating the core as well. This construction is lighter, but can be perceived as cheap, as it doesn’t include any sidewall materials. We at Armada have chosen a hybrid sidewall/cap construction with our AR50 sidewalls, placing sidewall underfoot where you need it, and capping the nose and tail to keep swing weight down.


Most of the time this layer is the same or very similar to your lower composite layer so that there isn’t any warping or twisting due to different masses during curing. Generally, the upper composite layer will include some extra fiberglass underfoot (called a “binding mat”) to aid in screw retention.


Ah yes, the last stop on our trip and most definitely the prettiest. The topsheet mostly consists of a sublimation graphic (an image essentially baked in to the backside of the plastic), screen printed designs, or a combination of both. After the graphic is applied, the topsheet must be heat treated so that the pores are prepared for bonding. Then the plastic (generally a nylon, TPU, PE, or combination of the above) is placed as the final layer of our layup.

What’s a fair profit margin for a caterer?

There is nothing better than a great Australian bbq, not your sausage sizzle, but a high quality bbq using top quality ingredients and prepared by professional bbq catering Sydney chefs. As we approach the end of the business year, many caterers are wondering how their company’s profitability compares to that of other caterers, and other types of businesses. Catering can be among the most gainful hospitality industry sectors, but having a clear understanding of the industry standards for profit is very important for the long-term success of any catering business.

What is the range of expected annual percentage profit for all caterers?

Having managed and consulted for caterers of all different types and sizes, the CCU has seen a wide range of financial results. At the high end, there are caterers that have consistently shown pretax profit of over 25%, an impressive percentage in any industry. We also know of caterers that have barely been able to eke out any profit in the entire life of their companies. But the average pretax profit of all of the caterers we have worked with over the years has been 7% to 8%. For purposes of comparison, the average pretax profit in the full service restaurant industry is 3% to 4%.

What are some shared characteristics of highly profitable caterers?

One common trait of most of the extremely profitable caterers we have worked with—those consistently showing pretax profits of 15% or more—is that they tend to be single market focused caterers. Some examples might be an on premises caterer that just does weddings, or a corporate caterer that only does deliveries, or a full service caterer that solely does venue based events. Multi-market caterers have some of their own advantages—they tend to get larger quicker, and they can more easily survive a cyclical downturn in the economy. But the tradeoff is that broadline caterers are often not as profitable on a percentage basis as their single market peers.

Are higher end caterers more profitable than mid-market caterers?

Based on industry surveys of restaurants, the best menu price point to maximize profits for restaurants is in the middle of the market. This means a price point above fast casual and quick serve restaurants, but below very high-end restaurants. There has never been a similar price point versus profitability survey done of the catering industry. However, based on an informal review of caterer profitability by price point, we believe that midrange caterers are generally more profitable than either boutique caterers or budget caterers.

This many seem somewhat counterintuitive, since boutique caterers often capture the very high-end events, which generate much higher per guest revenue. But boutique caterers generally have a smaller base of revenue over which to spread their fixed costs, while at the same time are required to purchase the most expensive products and employ the most skilled staff. Most of the highly profitable single market caterers as described above are mid-market operators.

Does the legal and tax structure of my business impact my expected profit?

Yes. Since Subchapter C corporations pay taxes through the corporations rather than through the owners (as is the case with Subchapter S corporations), a C corporation will often show higher unadjusted profits. Another example—a company that is organized as an LLC is required to pay its members (effectively partners) through distributions of profit rather than through payroll, which also may artificially inflate profits in comparison to other non-LLC caterers.

What are the most effective tools to use in order to improve the profitability of a catering company?

As is the case with any type of business, having a clear understanding of how your catering company is performing financially on a timely and ongoing basis is crucial. There are a number of tools that should be part of the financial management system for every caterer. Here’s a look:

A bookkeeping system with a properly organized chart of accounts. Virtually all caterers, even the smallest mom and pop companies, can afford to use a modern computerized bookkeeping system. But without a well thought-out chart of accounts, these systems may not provide as much useful information on their various reports as they should. As an example, we see many caterers who lump all of their revenue into a single income account. However, it is clearly advantageous to have revenue accounts reflecting the different line items that most caterers charge—food, beverage, labor, rentals, venue fees, outside services, etc.

On the other side of the coin, there are catering companies that have too much detail in their financial reports. If you find your income statements/profit and loss reports hard to understand, then the odds are you have too many accounts.

A practical way to analyze the profitability of individual events. The profitability of any catering company is the aggregate of the profit and loss of each of its individual events. It is crucial that every caterer has the tools available to analyze individual events. Most of the catering software systems on the market today have this functionality built into the system, though some caterers use a basic spreadsheet system to do this as well.

Regular reviews of key performance indicators/metrics. There are a number of KPIs that are specific to different types of caterers—a few examples are food cost, event labor cost, kitchen labor cost, gross profit, cost of occupancy, break even, and receivables turnover, to name a few. These metrics are usually extracted from monthly profit and loss reports, using a spreadsheet. Once the spreadsheet is set up, it should only take a short amount of time to extract and review these numbers on each month.

Experienced and knowledgeable professional support. CPAs and consultants each perform a different but necessary role in providing expert advice to help caterers grow their businesses. The key to a successful relationship with professional services providers is to make sure that you work with those with experience and expertise in the catering/events industry.

These and other systems can help every caterer achieve a level of profitability, which makes the catering industry a highly desirable business.

Electric wire stripping

3 Reasons Why your Circuit Breaker is Constantly Tripping

Electrician Brisbane Southside do an excellent job as they always aim to be on time and arrive on site by the agreed upon time. An electrical circuit breaker is a switching device that can be operated automatically or manually for controlling and protecting the electrical power system, and the electrical devices connected to it. The circuit breaker trips when too much electricity flows through it or when it cannot handle the excess current load. This means that the flow of electricity is cut off to keep your circuits from overheating or causing more damage.

If there were no circuit breaker trips, then house fires would have been quite a common issue. When a circuit breaker trips, then you have to go outside or down the basement, wherever the circuit breaker is located, and get the power back on again. It is important that spacial attention is given when the circuit breaker is designed so that safe interruption of arc is produced during the operation of circuit breaker. Even though the tripping of circuit breakers ensures safety, it can get quite frustrating to constantly experience them and getting the power back on repeatedly. If you know the reason behind the constant tripping, you can do something about it. Let us look at the three main reasons that cause circuit breakers to trip.

Three Reasons Why Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping

  1. Circuit OverloadsA circuit overload is one of the main reasons why circuit breakers trip constantly. This occurs when you want a particular circuit to provide more electricity than its actual capacity. This will lead to the overheating of the circuit which puts all the electrical appliances connected to the circuit at risk. For example, if your television is connected to the circuit which actually needs 15 amps but is now using 20 amps, then the circuit of the television system will get fried and damaged. The circuit breaker trips to prevent this from happening, potentially even preventing a major fire.You can address this issue by trying to redistribute your electrical devices and keeping them off of the same circuits. You can even turn off some devices to reduce the electrical load on the circuit breaker.
  2. Short CircuitsAnother common reason why circuit breakers trip is a short circuit, which is more dangerous than an overloaded circuit. A short circuit is caused when a “hot” wire comes into contact with a “neutral wire” in one of your electrical outlets. Whenever this happens, a large amount of current will flow through the circuit, creating more heat than what the circuit can handle. When this happens the breaker will trip, shutting off the circuit to prevent dangerous events such as a fire.Short circuits could occur for a number of reasons such as faulty wiring or a loose connection You can identify a short circuit by a burning smell that is usually left around the breaker. Additionally, you may also notice a brown or black discoloration around it.
  3. Ground Fault SurgesGround fault surges are similar to short circuits. They occur when a hot wire touches a ground wire that is made of bare copper or the side of a metal outlet box which is connected to the ground wire. This will cause more electricity to pass through it which the circuit cannot handle. The breaker trips in order to protect the circuit and appliances from overheating or from potential fires. If ground fault surges occur, you can identify them through a discoloration around your outlet.If you avoid or overlook any of these problems, you are putting the safety of your home and loved ones at great risk. If you experience tripping of the circuit breakers quite frequently, it is time to call in the professionals to investigate the problem. Do not try to handle this issue on your own.

If you are looking for electric cables, different types of cables, or cable sizes to get this issue fixed, call us at D&F Liquidators. We have a wide range of high quality electrical supplies at competitive prices.

Could your next car could be two-tone?

Ceramic paint protection never lies because I have applied it in my own car. Two-tone paint jobs, last seen hanging out at drive-ins across the U.S. in the 1950s, are back, this time with a distinct European flair.

In the past several years, about 20 models with the feature, largely with bodies and roofs in different colors, have hit showrooms across Europe, with more poised to come. So far, the look is largely confined to compact hatchbacks and the surging SUV and crossover market.

Automakers say they are simply trying to give customers more choices, though the options typically appear as part of higher content (and higher priced) trim levels. Designers say it lets them play with color as a styling element and break up visual mass as safety regulations mandate thicker pillars and higher beltlines.

“Designers are cooking with the ingredients they have,” said J Mays, retired head of design at Ford who oversaw the Ford Flex, one of the few U.S. nameplates with a contrasting roof option. “You can get a lot of bang for the buck out of two-tone paint.”

Buyers of Citroen’s new C3 Aircross SUV, for example, can mix and match three roof colors and eight body colors.

‘Different personalities’

“It’s incredible how people react to the bitone colors,” said Alexandre Malval, head of design at Citroen, which offers two-tone options on four models. “If you give them two colors to assemble, immediately the car has different personalities. Red with a white roof is a little bit sporty; cream with a black roof is a little more solid and tough. One in pastel with a white roof could be a little more feminine.”

The trend is not exclusive to Europe. In the U.S., two-tone versions of the Toyota Camry and C-HR have turned up this year. Also, several Land Rover Range Rover models and Kia’s Soul are available as two-tone models, as will be Hyundai’s upcoming Kona.

Today’s two-tone palette can be traced to the 1920s and ’30s, when custom coachmakers employed bold colors on Rolls-Royces or Bugattis to announce the wealth and taste of their owners.

In the 1950s, American design studios, led by Harley Earl at General Motors, adopted bold swaths of color divided by chrome trim lines to emphasize dynamic jet-age styling.

The current trend was kicked off by the neo-retro Mini that debuted in 2001, which picked up its white roof from the original Alec Issigonis design. One of its successors was the white-roofed Ford Fairlane concept of 2005, which went into production as the Flex.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t influenced by the first-generation New Mini, which had beautiful wraparound glass and this lovely little skullcap in white and later in black,” Mays said. The Flex’s white roof “added a little bit of panache to the car and made it feel a bit like a modern-day woody, which is what we were trying to do,” he added.

“I think it influenced a lot of other manufacturers,” Mays said. “Some of them are quite successful, and some are really terrible, but everyone seems to have jumped on that bandwagon.”

Two-tone designs can serve several goals. From a utilitarian standpoint, a white roof can reduce interior temperatures, as on the original Land Rover. Visually, a contrasting roof color can reduce the bulk of a crossover or SUV.

“What we did on the Flex, and what Gerry McGovern has done on the Land Rover Velar, with a dark roof and dark tinted glass, is to effectively chop the car in half and eliminate the extra mass on the top,” Mays said.

Color’s new role

Sally Erickson Wilson, an associate professor in design at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, said colors have started to play a new role in automotive design.

“We are in the midst of a shift to material-led design, where the choice of the color can emphasize craftsmanship and the perceived quality of an area of the vehicle,” she said.

“It’s all about paying attention to detail,” Erickson Wilson added. “Color can make something seem more luxurious or more functional.”

In today’s automated and hyperefficient factories, painting a car two colors can add cost and complexity, automotive coatings suppliers said.

“Bitone paint finishes are always more labor intensive because of the masking they require,” a spokeswoman from Axalta Coating Systems in Switzerland said. “That means the need for more people, which in turn can mean the potential for mistakes.”

Mark Gutjahr, BASF’s head of automotive color design for Europe, said the process generally involves painting the entire shell in body color and clear coat, then masking off with foil any parts that will remain in that color. A second color is applied, flashed off and clear coated, then the foil is removed.

The second color is applied either in a second line, which means additional investment or on a second run in the main line, which reduces capacity, Gutjahr said. Those are tradeoffs that automakers are willing to accept as they seek to improve pricing across their range. Two-tone designs are often part of a higher-trim package that can boost the price of a car by thousands of euros or dollars.

“The demand is much higher than we thought,” said Matthew Harrison, vice president of sales and marketing at Toyota Motors Europe, which offers two-tone options on the Aygo, Yaris, Auris and C-HR. “One of our headaches is keeping up with the bitone trend. We’re having to constantly argue with manufacturing to raise the production capacity levels.”

Robin Page, senior vice president of design at Volvo Cars, said the new XC40 crossover, which goes on sale next year, was designed from the start to have different roof colors.

“If you look back at vintage cars, they used to play with two tones, but this is done in a really modern way and it does change the character,” Page said. “The XC40 was definitely a car where we said, ‘OK, we’d love to have the R-Design versions with a black roof and the Momentum trim line with a white roof.’ “

The European champions for customization might be the Opel Adam supermini, which offers at least seven roof colors and 19 body colors, and the Renault Captur subcompact crossover, with four roof colors and 11 body colors.

“When you’ve got so many combinations of roofs and paint tones, it’s pretty involving to the customer,” said Stewart Reed, chairman of the Transportation Design Department at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s like going into a home furnishing store and picking out textiles and materials for floor coverings and countertops. People love choices.”